Himalayan sub-tropical Pine: These forests are found between the heights of 910 metres to 1825 metres throughout Chamoli District. The trees which are commonly found in these forests are Anyar, Caryoptexis wallichii, Rubus ellipticus and Rhus semialata on the northern aspect of the hills.
Moist Temperate Seral Forest: These forests are found between the altitudes of 1200 metres to 2150 metres along the streams and newly formed beds with undergrowth of Sarococca preuniformus spp, Berberis spp and Ainslea aptera especially in the western part of the Joshimath and the eastern part of Karnprayag tehsils.
Banj Oak Forests: These forests are basically found between the heights of 1825 metres and 2450 metres. But at certain places their limits ascent up to 2600 metres especially on the southern aspect and descend to 1200 metres on the northern aspect of the hills. Trees commonly met with in these forests are buras, anyar, carpinus,viminea and Ilex odorala.
Tilonj Forests: These forests are found between the same altitudes as those of the oak and are associated with the lauracea, ilex, betula alnoides, etc. The shrubby under growth consist of Robus spirea, indigofera and Ainslea aftera.
Lower Blue Pine Forests: These forests are found between the heights of 1825 metres and 2600 metres especially in Tehsil Chamoli and Karnprayag having Euscholtzia polistachya, Vibumun foctens, Rosa microphylla, Vibumun cotonifoliun, Exaecarea acerifolia, etc. as shrubby under growth.
Dry Coniferous Forest: On deep soil between the altitude of 1825 metres and 2600 metres. The under growth consist of shrubs such as Aveliatryflora, Sumiperous, Macropoda, Prunus jacqumontii, Ribes grosulaia and Rosa scricea, the shrubby under growth consisting of Achyranthes bidentata and Aralia cissifolium.
Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest: These forests are found on deep moist soils between the heights of 1825 metres and 2750 metres along the hill stream. The top canopy consist of pangar, kanchula, maira sour, akhrot, dalla and kabasi, the shrubby under growth consisting of viburum spirea, sorbiflora, barberis spp, Strodilanthas wallichii , etc.
Cypress Forests: These forests are found between the heights of 2125 metres and 2600 metres on rocky slopes and precipitous grounds.
Kharasu Forests: The Kharasu forests are found between the heights of 2450 metres and 3500 metres mixed with kanchula, pangar, saur and burans. The shrubby undergrowth consists of Rosa scricea, Rosa macrephylla, Viburum foeten, Contoneaster ocuminate and Ribes glaciaia.
Western Oak Forests: These forests are commonly found on the southern aspect of hills between the altitudes of 2450 metres and 2900 metres mixed with Kharasu, tilonj, pangar, kanchula, kabasi, etc. the chief undergrowth being Rhamnus purpurrea, Wickstroemia cancacenda, Rosa macrophylla, Skimmia bursola, Rubus niveus. Among creepers which are found here are Vitis semicordata, Schizandras grandiflora and Hedera helix.
Dry Temperate Deciduous Forests: These forests consisting of kabasi trees are found between the heights of 2450 metres and 2750 metres in the northern part of the district.
Temperate Hippophae Scrub Forests: These forests consisting of ames scrubs, are found between the heights of 2275 metres and 3200 metres on gravel beds along the banks of the streams mixed with gadbhains.
Kharak Forests: These forests are found above the altitude of 2215 metres and have practically no tree growth except the Rumex nepalensis undergrowth.
Alpine Fir Birch Forests: These grow better between the heights of 2900 metres and 3500 metres in all aspects of the hills except in the moist areas. The plants growing in these forests are fir, birch and Rhododendron.
Birch - Rhododendrons Forests: These forests are found between the altitudes of 2900 metres and 4125 metres and in them are found the stunted bhuj and rhododendrons with Pyrus foliolose as 90 percent of the undergrowth. Other plants which grow here are Rubus niveus, Swilax vaginate, Cotoneaster spp, Lonicera spp and Pologorum vaccinifolium.
Alpine Scrub Forests: Between the altitudes of 3350 metres and 4275 metres and with a rainfall above 1016 mm. Evergreen scrubs are found consisting of Rhododendron asthopogen, Junipexus recurva, J. communis, Lonicera parviflora, etc.
Alpine Pastures: Between the heights of 2050 metres and 2975 metres on the northern aspect of the hills and between the altitudes of 2500 metres and 4425 metres on the southern aspect of the hills the land is covered with short grasses and herbs.
In the warm valleys of the extreme southern part of the district some species of the trees of the plains such as mango, Peepul, banyan and shisham grow here and there up to an altitude of about 915 metres. In the Alaknanda valley, the bases, slopes, gorges and tops of the hills up to the height of 1067 metres are well wooded with high trees such as catechu, bahera, amaltas, bel, kachnar and dhak. A large variety of creepers some of which have broad green leaves also thrive in the vicinity of the trees. Above an elevation of 3439 metres Moru or Tilonj and Kharasu grow and their timber is also used for manufacturing agricultural implements. Many medicinal blooms, herbs and plants, greatly valued in Ayurveda grow in Chamoli district. The chief varieties of timber trees found in the groves of the district are pine, deodar and many varieties of walnut. The timber of the deodar tree is considered to be sacred and is noted for durability and resisting insect, pest and dry rot. It is great demand for making doors and roof of temples.
Forests of Chamoli District are rich in fauna and have been the habitat, from time immemorial, of a large variety of mammals, various species of birds, reptiles and fish. However, presently the number of wild animals has considerably decreased on account of their destruction and thinning of the forests.
|More Articles in Chamoli District (9)|